Diet Definition – Part 1
In nutrition, diet plays an important role in health maintenance and in weight loss. Food intake is measured by calories per gram of body mass and it helps to determine the amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and other macro-nutrients needed for normal body functioning. The concept of diet is simple. A diet consists of eating a fixed number of calories daily or an average number of grams of fat each day. In simple terms, diet suggests that one should eat foods that are low in calories or those which have low carbohydrate content in them.
In the context of this article let’s look at the first part of the definition of diet: “A fixed number of foods or food groups over a fixed period of time or to a specific quantity”. Diet can be broken down into two major categories: physiological diet, which involve the intake of food groups and is considered necessary, and psychosocial diet, which are a matter of personal choice and has a greater impact on the body. So, in the above example you would have to define the physiological diet as the diet required by the human body, and psychosocial diet as the diet one chooses to follow. These two are the major categories of diet.
Let’s continue with diet definition. In this entry I will cover the third category of diet, which is the diet soft drink, also known as diet cola. Diet soft drink is a drink that is mixed with fruit juices (in particular orange juice) and then comes in small plastic bottles, similar to a sport drink, to help reduce the amount of calories one eats. The claims made by manufacturers of diet cola are that they provide you with a number of healthy benefits, including an effective way to reduce weight, a way to fight diabetes and cancers, as well as boosting your energy levels throughout the day.
One problem with dieting is that it is very difficult to judge whether or not a diet is really effective. This is because the effectiveness of any diet largely depends upon how strictly it is followed. In other words, if an individual is only eating a small amount of calories each day, then it will be difficult to tell whether the diet is actually effective or whether the dieter is simply saving the calories for later. For most people it is very difficult to eat sensibly. In fact, in order to effectively lose weight, and to keep it off, it is necessary to eat sensibly, and to limit calorie intake.
This leads to the next point, which is that the word diet literally means to cut down, and dieting means eating in moderation. Therefore, it is not surprising that some people confuse dieting with losing weight and therefore avoid the word diet altogether, when what they really need to do is to maintain their current weight, and then increase it slightly. Therefore, in this sense, it would be appropriate to say that the diet should be called something like a dietary plan, rather than a diet. This way the meaning of the diet becomes more clear.